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Country Italian Bread Recipe

Country Italian Bread Recipe - Two 18-inch loaves


2 cups warm water (110o - 115oF)

1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

5 cups unbleached flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Dab of tub-style safflower margarine


In a bowl, combine water and sugar, sprinkle yeast over top. Let stand 10 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and olive oil. Add dissolved yeast and mix with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough.


Knead by hand or by machine, smooth and elastic. Put dough in a bowl greased with safflower margarine, turning once to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.


Punch dough down. Cover and return to warm place. Let rise until double in size, about 1 hour. Punch down again. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a loaf shape. Place in bread pans greased with safflower margarine. Return to warm place and let rise until nearly double in size, about 1 hour.


Bake in a 450oF oven 15-20 minutes. (Bake on a pizza stone if available). Remove loaves from pans. Reduce heat to 375oF and continue baking about 30 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped.

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